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Arts and Entertainment

LightHouse Youth Program – Blind Kids are Doing it for Themselves

Students in our Cooking 101 class, mixing bowls at the ready, stand at their counters waiting to put a recipe together.What are a handful of motivated young blind people doing at the LightHouse early on a Saturday? The LightHouse Youth Program provides programming all year for energized youth who are blind or have low vision. One Saturday last month, the day went something like this:

Starting in the morning, LightHouse Volunteer Robin Patche led that week’s edition of Cooking 101. In this class we aim to teach young blind people how to be competent and confident in the kitchen. On the day’s agenda – how to make simple snacks such as smoothies, trail mix and cheese crackers, using accessible measuring cups, spoons and other cooking tools. Kitchen safety and sanitation were also incorporated into the discussion.

Next up, artist Ruthie Campbell Miller led the young people in an art project that had them using tissue paper to create tactile “paintings”. Why do young blind people benefit from art classes? Youth Program Coordinator Jamey Gump, who has low vision himself, told us, “We’re glad to have been able to offer an art class to the Youth Program and plan to reboot it in the fall. The more exposure students have to experience art their own way, the more they extend this sense of space to exploring and learning about their environment. Creating art can improve a blind person’s spatial acuity which in turn helps improve their ability to travel and to organize their environment.”

In the afternoon, Wells Fargo Personal Banker Nina Toia gave a presentation on how to successfully manage one’s money, including how to create a budget, what a credit score is and how to build credit. She answered both basic and complex questions and led a lively discussion on how the way in which we value the things we purchase can affect our budget.

An important aspect of our classes is introducing our younger blind students to blind college-aged mentors. This particular Saturday ended with a training session for the mentors. Jamey led a discussion about the best ways to make activities enjoyed by entire families work for both the sighted members and the members who are blind or have low vision.

Mentor Nasir, with a big grin on his face, practices how to roll an Oreo cookie from the forehead to the mouth without using ones hands.

Our Youth Program Fills a Great Need
A lot of times young people who are blind may not know anyone in their neighborhood or school system who is blind. While all of our Youth programming promotes the independence, camaraderie and creativity while having fun, perhaps the most important aspect of these gatherings is providing them with the opportunity to meet other blind young people. Likewise, a side benefit to the gatherings is that the parents who bring their kids to these classes and field trips also get the chance to meet other parents of blind youth and exchange advice and solutions about the various challenges they may face.

We plan on having new cooking and art classes for youth in the fall, so stay tuned. To sign up for our Youth Events e-newsletter or for more information about our Youth programs, contact LightHouse Youth Coordinator Jamey Gump at jgump@lighthouse-sf.org or 415-694-7372.

Are You a Musician who is Blind or Has Low Vision?

Lead instructor Bill McCann and Jenna Baylis work with adaptive software for composition during Blind Music Academy.Fine-tune your craft this summer at Music Academy at Enchanted Hills Camp in Napa, California.

Do you sing or play an instrument? Train with some of our nation’s best instructors at Music Academy at Enchanted Hills Camp. The LightHouse is partnering with Dancing Dots, the world’s leading provider of accessible music technology for the blind, to bring our summertime Music Academy back to the redwoods. The Academy is open to young, motivated musicians who are blind or low vision who are 16 to 24 years old.

Where: Enchanted Hills Camp, Napa and the LightHouse Headquarters, San Francisco
When: August 1 through August 10, 2016
Cost for the week, all-inclusive: $300
(If the registration fee is a barrier, let us know; some scholarships will be available.)

Bill McCann, President and Founder of Dancing Dots, blind himself, will lead a team of four blind instructors and technicians to teach the latest and greatest techniques for blind and low vision students.

To sign up: contact Taccarra Burrell at 415-694-7318 or tburrell@lighthouse-sf.org or go to: http://lighthousesf.org/programs/enchanted-hills/

Tickets Going Fast for the VIBES2: Just for Fun! Fundraiser to Support LightHouse Music Academy

Armando's logoEnjoy good food, live music and entertainment by blind performers, plus a fabulous raffle and auction at Joyce Cid’s VIBES2: Just for Fun! Event. (VIBES stands for Visually Impaired and Blind Entertainment Sunday.)

When: Sunday, April 3, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Where: Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez CA 94553, (925) 228-6985

Come hungry – Roxx on Main will be providing food for purchase.

All proceeds to benefit Music Academy at Enchanted Hills Camp. Purchase tickets to VIBES.

To donate raffle and auction items, contact Joyce Cid at (925) 372-7632 or Tosha Davis at (925) 818-1687. To learn more about the event, please contact Megara Vogl at (415) 694-7335 or mvogl@lighthouse-sf.org.

About Music Academy
Music Academy at Enchanted Hills Camp for the Blind is a 10-day summer workshop for serious blind musicians to take their music to the next level, meet other blind musicians, learn to read, write and record music accessibly, and how to be a success in the field of music.

Read more about Music Academy.

Music Academy draws young motivated blind and musicians with low vision from around the nation. Donate to support Music Academy.

Joyce Cid

Recent Grant Awards to Superfest, Disability Communications Fund

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) logoJust in time for Superfest International Disability Film Festival’s 30th Anniversary, the National Endowment for the Arts is making its first-ever prestigious grant to LightHouse-sponsored SuperFest, supporting the 2016 festival with a $10,000 grant. We are excited to announce that this will enable us to give cash awards to the “Best of Festival” award winning filmmakers and expand the festivals reach and impact. Save the date: for Superfest will be held on October 22 and 23rd 2016. (NEA logo attached).

A grant from the Disability Communications Fund will enable LightHouse to expand our tech training opportunities when we open our new headquarters in May. “Anytime Tech” will be one-on-one tech training available in the evenings and weekends as well as during the day. Interpreters can be provided in most languages if required.

Buy Tickets Now to the VIBES2: Just for Fun! Fundraiser to Support LightHouse Music Academy

Armando's logoEnjoy good food, live music and entertainment by blind performers, plus a fabulous raffle and auction at Joyce Cid’s VIBES2: Just for Fun! Event. (VIBES stands for Visually Impaired and Blind Entertainment Sunday.)

When: Sunday, April 3, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Where: Armando’s, 707 Marina Vista, Martinez CA 94553, (925) 228-6985

Come hungry – Roxx on Main will be providing food for purchase.

All proceeds to benefit Music Academy at Enchanted Hills Camp. Purchase tickets to VIBES.

To donate raffle and auction items, contact Joyce Cid at (925) 372-7632 or Tosha Davis at (925) 818-1687. To learn more about the event, please contact Megara Vogl at (415) 694-7335 or mvogl@lighthouse-sf.org.

About Music Academy
Music Academy at Enchanted Hills Camp for the Blind is a 10-day summer workshop for serious blind musicians to take their music to the next level, meet other blind musicians, learn to read, write and record music accessibly, and how to be a success in the field of music.

Read more about Music Academy.

Music Academy draws young motivated blind and musicians with low vision from around the nation. Donate to support Music Academy.

Joyce Cid

New Cultural Offerings for the LightHouse Community

Enjoy Arts and Ideas Performances, Lectures, Live Podcast Recordings and More

Thanks to the generosity of donor Michele Spitz, this spring, LightHouse’s Blind and Low Vision community can enjoy complimentary tickets to entertaining speakers and performances of many genres at the JCC of San Francisco. Tickets are available for these shows:

2/8  Assaf Gavron
2/16 Better Living Through Criticism
2/19 Call your Girlfriend
2/22 Curls Night Out
3/24 Dixie De La
5/2  Googling Sex
5/31 Movies and Jewish Sexuality

Read more about the shows. For details about ticket availability contact Community Services’ Beth Berenson at bberenson@lighthouse-sf.org.

Youth Program Improv Class

Join your friends from the Lighthouse Youth Program for our first ever Youth Improv class. Students will enjoy a fun-filled afternoon of hilarious improv games and skits led by the LightHouse Youth Leadership Team.

Who: Blind and Low Vision Youth between the ages of 8 and 18.
What: Play fun group games and participate in improv skits.
When: Saturday, February 13, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Where: LightHouse San Francisco Headquarters @ 214 Van Ness Avenue.
Waiver: Each participant must submit a LightHouse Youth Program waiver form if they have not done so for a previous outing or event.
Cost: FREE for low vision and blind youth.
What to bring: A good sense of humor, at least one prop and one clothing item that participants can share during improv games and skits.

Classes will be limited to 8 participants and all participants must RSVP.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact Jamey Gump, Youth Services Coordinator, at (415) 694-7372, or by email at jgump@lighthouse-sf.org.

Are You a Musician that is Blind or With Low Vision? Fine-tune Your Craft at Music Academy

Music Academy students Travis Nichols (left) plays electric guitar and Ben Blatchford on keyboards.Do you sing or play an instrument? Train with some of our nation’s best teachers at our summer Music Academy at Enchanted Hills Camp.

“I had a lot of fun this year meeting new people and my experience at EHC was camp was great. Really awesome to meet all of you and to rock out and jam with all of you guys. Everyone who came this year must come next year. We need to get more people in our jam sessions. We killed it up there on stage, we absolutely killed it! EHC is the place to be!”
-Participant Ben Blatchford

The LightHouse will partner for a third year with Dancing Dots, the world’s leading provider of accessible music technology for the blind, to bring our summertime Music Academy back to the redwoods. The Academy is open to young, motivated musicians who are blind or low vision who are 16 to 24 years old.

Music Academy is open to young musicians from all over the world.

New This Year – Music Academy has Expanded to a 10-Day Session
Feedback for our first two sessions has been overwhelmingly positive and our students want more. So we’ve expanded the session from seven to ten days.

The first seven days of the session will take place at Enchanted Hills Camp and include two opportunities to perform for Napa residents. Then students will be transported to the new LightHouse Building at 1155 Market Street for continued training plus the chance to see professional musical performances in various genres such as jazz, classical and rock. Students will meet local musicians and mentors while enjoying the vibrant music scene found in San Francisco. They’ll also train on our multi-media, state-of-the-art technology. All students will get the chance to perform at a showcase concert in the LightHouse Building on Tuesday, August 9.

Lead instructor Bill McCann and student Jenna Baylis work with adaptive software for composition during Blind Music Academy.

Where: Enchanted Hills Camp, Napa and the LightHouse Building, San Francisco
When: August 1 through August 10, 2016

Cost for the week, all-inclusive: $300
(If the registration fee is a barrier, let us know; some scholarships will be available.)

Bill McCann, President and Founder of Dancing Dots, will spend the entire session with the aspiring musicians. McCann, blind himself, will lead a team of four blind instructors and technicians to teach the latest and greatest techniques for blind and low vision students.

“It’s rather bittersweet to be back home after an amazing week of Music Academy at EHC. Met so many awesome people and had an overall great experience. Definitely going back next summer. Yesterday’s concert went very well and everyone performed really good and were at the top of they’re game. Shout out to the kitchen crew as well for delivering great meals throughout camp. Bummed that it all ended so quickly, but stoked to see everyone again next year.”
-Participant Daniel Cavazos

To sign up for Music Academy, contact Taccarra Burrell at 415-694-7318 or tburrell@lighthouse-sf.org or go to the Enchanted Hills page on our website.

Discover Alcatraz Through Tactile Maps

Discover Alcatraz: A Tour of the Rock is the latest in our ongoing series of Golden Gate National Recreation Area maps. If you are blind or have low vision these maps will motivate and inspire you to visit and explore Alcatraz with confidence.

Discover Alcatraz: A Tour of the Rock, consists of fifty-three pages of tactile maps, elevations, features, and braille designed to be as informative as the standard visual, self-guided information pamphlet. It contains a timeline of Alcatraz Island, compelling historical information about different eras of the Rock, contextual information on important structures, interesting trivia and a map of the island. Also included are two cartographic aspects: an overview of the island and an elevation map, which describe the island’s topography.

For more information about Discover Alcatraz and other GGNRA maps please contact Richard De La O, Accessibility Program Manager at (415) 561-4958, write goga_accessibility@nps.gov or visit http://www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisit/accessibility.htm.

Got Talent? Audition by February 1 for the April VIBES Variety Show and Help Raise Money to send Kids to the Enchanted Hills Music Academy

Friend of the LightHouse, Joyce Cid, is organizing another one of her stellar fundraisers to raise money for scholarships to Enchanted Hills. This year all proceeds will go to scholarships for our summer Music Academy. The event will feature talented musicians (and other performers) from around the Bay Area.

Are you a blind musician, comedian or other entertainer? To audition to be part of the show, email Joyce Cid (jcid@sbcglobal.net) a link to a video or audio clip showcasing your talent. Deadline for submissions is February 1.

Tickets to this event will go on sale in the spring. In addition to the entertainment on stage, there will also be tempting food options and alluring silent auction and raffle prizes. Whether you attend as a performer on stage or as an adoring fan of our blind talent, please plan to join us for this special event.

What: V.I.B.E.S. (Visually Impaired and Blind Entertainment Sunday), a fundraiser benefiting Enchanted Hills Camp for the Blind, a program of the LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Audition Deadline: Monday, February 1.
When: The show will be on Sunday, April 3, 2016, 1 to 4 pm
Where: Armando’s in Martinez http://www.armandosmartinez.com/

For more information about Music Academy, see this recent article on the program.